Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
Are you ultimately in control of change in your life? The answer is no. It is not in your control at all. You will find that change happens whether you are ready for it or not.
You will not experience change by laws or by observing rules. Change comes about only by truth. The issue is whether or not one will accept truth. If you are not changing, who is keeping you from it? Are you improving? Are you better off? This is where truth comes in. Truth can bring about real change.
Why do people change? Change is undertaken when one wants to adapt to something different.
Why don’t people change? They do not see a need to do so. The conflict here is to recognize where change is needed.
What does it take to change? It requires looking at truth and the facts about your life.
When God claims “all have sinned,” it requires a person to either agree with the statement or just deny them. This requires being truthful to self.
Did you know that 80% of all fitness equipment is sold between December 15th and January 1st? Someone decided that he would make a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight and get fit; however, the equipment may wind up sitting idle after March of the next year.
There are 10 million procedures of cosmetic surgery each year.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to change.
Change is a lot of hard work. We need help from others. We must have the help and power of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Since you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, what has changed most in your life? What has not changed in your life that should have changed? What is keeping you from changing more in your life? Are you ready for change?
Are you willing to accept the changes that God wants to make in your life?
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
“Woe to the one who argues with his Maker—
one clay pot among many.
Does clay say to the one forming it,
‘What are you making?’
Or does your work say,
‘He has no hands’?
God will speak to each one of us about what needs to change. Obedience to God and His Word is the key to effective change.
Yet Lord, You are our Father;
we are the clay, and You are our potter;
we all are the work of Your hands.
God is our Heavenly Father. We are the true works of His hands by His grace.
I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
I have more insight than all my teachers
because Your decrees are my meditation.
What is insight? It is the ability to see and understand clearly the inner nature of things. God will give you clear insight if you remain obedient to Him and stay in His Word.
What are decrees? They are statutes; a testimony that establishes a fact, affirmation or declaration. Decrees are unmovable. It establishes God’s testimony, and it will not change for you or for me.
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
If you acknowledge truth, it will bring you out of difficult situations and circumstances. Failure to acknowledge truth will keep you where you are, and often that’s not a great place. Satan will keep a person in their sin to a point where he is “just trying to survive.” God wants you to do more than just survive. He wants you to exchange lies for the truth and be set free under His Word. When the truth is before you, which way will you choose to go?
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.
2 Thessalonians 2:10-11
10 and with every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe what is false.
A believer must choose to emulate Jesus Christ or to allow the flesh to prevail. Satan will attempt to deceive a person to cause you to deny God and the truth. If Satan is allowed to prevail, it will separate a person from a healthy relationship with God. The unbeliever who refuses to acknowledge God’s truth will eventually be given over to one’s own desires, for God will never tolerate sin.
You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars.
Satan knew what truth was, but refused to acknowledge it. Change is all about accepting the truth.
Don’t make any excuses about not being able to change. If God reveals it you can do something about it. God is more than able and gracious. You need to believe it and hold onto it.
God must establish the change in one’s life. Knowing truth brings about this change. Truth is a reality that should no longer be denied or worked around. Running away from truth doesn’t change what it represents. Recognition of the need for change begins with being honest to yourself about needing it. God will graciously help you when you are ready to accept it and begin to follow His direction.
with truth like a belt around your waist,
righteousness like armor on your chest.
Absolutely not! God must be true, even if everyone is a liar, as it is written:
That You may be justified in Your words
and triumph when You judge.
Paul had to be changed from being a self-righteous Pharisee to be conformed to a person who would serve Christ in a mighty way:
Romans 7:18, 24
18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it.
24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this dying body?
Paul would never had said these words as a Pharisee unless God was dealing with Him personally. He had to humble himself and allow for God to work in his life. He knew the truth about himself and knew that he needed to change.
Change has to be substance–it has to be real, and you need to have the ability to endure it. Satan will challenge every change you want to make in your life.
A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
Ephesians 1:3, 14
3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens.
14 He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. 7 Therefore, do not become their partners. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light— 9 for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth— 10 discerning what is pleasing to the Lord.